Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Japanese sewing books

Phew. I am working at the Queensland Theatre Company right now. Making costumes for Grimm Tales. The costumes are amazing and if you are around Brisbane I would recommend going to see the show.

One thing about sewing all day is that you don't really feel like sewing all night when you get home. So tonight I thought I would post about Japanese sewing books and imagine that I have a magic sewing fairy in the cupboard. My three sewing wishes would be...

The first one I have is Feminine Wardrobe and I love this sleeveless bow top! 

The second book I have is Sweet Dress Recipe and  really like the pin tuck details on the skirt and dress (two wishes in one?)

Finally I have an accessories book and I love, love, love this back draped (deceptively simple from the front) cardi. YUM.

So where to get them if you are interested!

I go to Pompadours Craft cafe on Esty to look inside them and I have bought two recently(she also runs a Ebay store and often has more pictures of the inside pages there). The postage can work out to make it more expensive than the second option which is yesasia (I have linked to the Pattern Magic book, if you scroll down it gives you other pattern book options) 

I could not get one of the books I was looking for on yesasia so that's why I ordered from the esty shop. But if you buy from the yesasia over a certain amount you don't pay postage, so it can work out cheaper.If you want to navigate to the endless scroll of Japanese craft books on yesasia here this is the route via mouse clicks: 

Japanese>Books>Lifestyle>Home Arts

I found it useful to get the authors name from the esty store and then put it into the search on yesasia

If you can't be bothered and want to pay about $10 more per book plus $10 delivery go to Tessuti, but the others are cheaper.

Alrighty, if you do order some here is a site that gives you translations for simple sewing terminology.
 I have read that the clothes patterns are for those up to 160cm tall and you have to add 1.5cm seam allowance to all patterns.

Plus if you want to get your hands on some english versions of these pattern book The Book Depository has Pattern Magic for $22.92, much better than the $45 dollars in some of the shops in Brisbane. There is free delivery too. yes one is winging its way to me now... naughty.

Phew! Hopefully the weekend will free me up to draft my undies patterns and get cutting.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Undies update - trim time

I went shopping on the weekend to get some trim for my first project from The Undies Book. I decided that I wanted to put some lace on the camisole, not just as trim but integrated in to the cups and then use the eyelet cotton trim as straps.

I found an good article on threads website entitled 'Create Couture Lingerie' by Alexandra Armillas. She used to make lingerie for Dior, so I reckon she knows a few things. I had been thinking that I am using non-stretch fabrics and might add some buttons to the centre front, but in the pictures on the article the buttons are to the side and it looks very sweet.

Alexandra recommends photocopying the lace and placing it on your toile to preview the design and I will do this. I am getting quite excited by this project and I think my sewing mojo as returned! Yipeee.

Here is the fabric and trim together. I tea dyed the cotton eyelet to give it that vintage feel and blend with the lace better. Next step is to make the patterns.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Q versus Q

One the Collette Patterns blog a few posts a go,Sarai wrote the entry Sewing and your Wardrobe . It was a very interesting post and made me think about my reason for sewing items for my wardrobe and do I really wear the items I sew. I then read a comment from Rachel on Very Prairie's blog from her entry on the pattern magic bow dress (it is divine). The part of the comment stood out was,
 You do exceptional sewing work. I love how you seem to concentrate on quality instead of quantity.
The initial starting point of this blog was to cut back on excess clothes buying and plan to sew items for my wardrobe that were missing. So I did in fact have quality over quantity. Yet when I look at my sewing room I see heaps of material, lots of to be refashions and heaps of patterns... I am over consuming in an indirect way?

I like to reevaluate the things that I do ever now and then and these two posts have made me do just that. I dunno what my actions are yet but Sarai's steps of planning, taking time to make an item will be on my sewing menu.

That in mind I made up a toile today for a pair of silk pants that I have planned to sew for ages! The pattern I am using is McCalls 5983 view E.

 Sewing up a toile is a pain in the bum. BUT its so worth it. From my toile pictures below you can see that I have to take out length at the hip.

I also had to take a vertical wedge on the back leg as it was WAY too baggy.

I will now mark these adjustments onto the pattern piece. I don't like using the toile for a pattern as the fabric can stretch out of shape and therefore my final adjustments can be wrong. Plus, I have to true them so the pattern will match up perfectly when I sew it.

Taking your time on a sewing project can be annoying when you want it now and you still have your whole life to fit in... but if you want quality over quantity it the best way to go.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Undies update

Today (well tonight) I dyed my fabric for my undies project. I decided to use plain cotton voile. I wanted the colour to be like pale pink rose petals so that I can add cream lace and darker dusky rose ribbon. So I set to work.

I have a great 19L stainless steel pot that I keep just for dyeing, plus a little jug to dissolve the dye.

I used a Dylon dye called Pairs Rose that I have had for ages. I only put in one quarter of the dye as I wanted a really pale pink colour. I got the colour that I wanted after much stirring of the pot. I know this kind of dye is not the best to mother nature. So instead of pouring it down the drain and into the sea, I will let it cool completely and research other ways of disposing of it.

I also decided that I would make an under garment set rather than just the petticoat and settled on the Slip Style-style camisole.

Now to draw up those patterns and look for some lace and ribbon.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Flying shortcake

About approx 365 moons ago I posted that I was inspired to make a quilted jacket. Below is the blog image I put up.

Reading through this blog I realised that I have many UFO projects (un-finished objects). So I made a list of them (made my cheeks blush) and I am working my way through! I did buy material, the bamboo/cotton wadding , pretty backing material and cut it out... and well that was that... until now. I have been busy tacking the layers together. 

I did ask one of the ladies at work about my tacking and she said I would have to redo. I am to start from the middle and work my way out on each piece. This is so that I do not get any fabric bubbles when I  latter quilt them. I am only quilting the body and main part of the hood. I should have remembered this technique from tailoring class, but a jog of the memory cells is always good.

So why I am making a quilted jacket for the Australian summer? Well that's because I won't be here for most of it... I am going home to Scotland for the festive season! Yipeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! 

 In celebration of this news I made a yummy afternoon tea. Strawberry and rhubarb shortcake. There was enough of the fruit left to make some jam too. 

 In celebrations of this news I made a yummy afternoon tea. Strawberry and rhubarb shortcake. There was enough of the fruit left to make some jam too.

Yum, yum for my tum.

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